On the latest episode of his Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross discussed his contract issues with WWE in 2006, and how he stayed with the company even after learning that Vince McMahon had plans to replace him.
Jim Ross was a WWE mainstay through the much loved Attitude Era and beyond, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest wrestling announcers of all time. However, throughout much of that time, his relationship with Vince McMahon was far from straightforward.
In the latest episode of his podcast dealing with Cyber Sunday 2006, Ross detailed the issues surrounding agreeing a new contract, and that for a time, he worked under a series of short-term deals.
“My contract expired and we didn’t come to terms… What we were doing was doing these little extensions until we got a deal done. I was hoping for a longer term deal in 2006, and I got a one year deal. The writing was on the wall for me. Vince wanted me out, he wanted to go with young, pretty guys – SportsCenter guys. Todd Grisham type guys. That’s what he wanted, the look Vince was enamoured with. Not me and [Jerry] Lawler. If they could have found someone to replace me that Vince was pleased with, then I wouldn’t have got those little extensions, ’cause he did want me out.”
Ross revealed that the plan was for him to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2007 and move away from commentating on RAW, where he would be replaced by Todd Grisham.
“The plan was, we’ll do something nice for JR, we’ll put him in the Hall of Fame – whether he deserves it or not doesn’t matter – and that will be his going away present, because in the fall of 2007, Todd Grisham had already been informed that he was going to be the new voice of RAW.”
“After all that turmoil and chaos, I stayed till 2018. 12 more years of that sh**, knowing you’re not really wanted, you’re not the first choice… In 2006, I learned a great lesson – don’t go crazy and worry about things you can’t control.”
JR goes on to say that while he was unhappy, a lack of alternatives and “getting paid and doing what I loved to do” kept him going.
Ross would eventually leave WWE in 2018, moving to head the announce booth in AEW the following year.